Friday, November 9, 2012

Snapshots From the Past

 When my Grandmother Worden died in 1988, I found a box of old photographs amongst her things labeled, "Friends and Family".  She was a great saver of everything and there were many photos from the early 20th century. Most of the snapshots had writing on them identifying who, where, and when the pictures were taken. I brought the box home with me knowing that I wanted to spend some time with the contents.

 20 years later I began sorting the photographs into categories such as, People and Pets, Old Boyfriends, People and Cars, etc.  Some of the categories overlapped, such as the one above left of an old boyfriend with the ship's mascot, a cat, and the one on the right which is probably an old boyfriend with his dog and wife. The quality of the photographs and the soft sepia tones were irresistible. I was just waiting for an idea to hit me when I had the opportunity to hear Billy Collins read his poem, The Revenant. The Revenant is told in the voice of his deceased dog and it's humorous because the dog unleashes (couldn't resist, sorry) his real feelings towards his former owner.  I realized that all of the pets in my grandmother's pictures were also deceased and each one had a story to tell.

 My friends at Panda Photo Lab helped me clean up the images and printed them so I wouldn't have to destroy the originals to set them in a necklace that I call, The Revenants. On the back of each photograph is a narrative I wrote etched in copper. However, the interesting contexts for the people and animals were lost when we cropped the images to fit them into the necklace shown below.

  The necklace idea then led to five brooches where we were able to use the entire photograph.
 I have no idea who these people are but I made up a pretty good story about them etched in copper on the back of the piece.  By the way, that is a real wasp set under plastic which is proof that you really can get just about anything on eBay.